Minority Leader Neville Contacted Police Following Social Media Backlash That Threatens His Family
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville said he filed a report with the Colorado State Patrol Capitol Complex Friday minutes after a Twitter user posted that his daughters should be sexually assaulted.
Neville said the comments followed a CPR News report about a Facebook post Neville shared related to U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The Republican blames the hyper-partisan environment for creating a climate where tweets like this happen. Other people criticized his mother, including attacking her parenting skills.
@coloradodems I am used to your garbage politics. But leave my mother out of it and MY KIDS ARE WAY OFF LIMITS. Call for some decency from the mob of "resist" trolls you activated. Threatening to assault my kids. Disgusting!! #copolitics #coleg pic.twitter.com/h12cIri7ZI— Rep. Patrick Neville (@PatrickForCO) September 21, 2018
On Saturday, Neville shared a link to a story from the Babylon Bee, a Christian news satire website, under the headline “Exclusive Report: Kavanaugh May Have Cheated While Playing ‘The Floor Is Lava’ As A Child.”
The post came a day after additional details of the teenage sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh were first published by The New Yorker and other news outlets across the country. Democrats were quick to criticize the social media humor and wrote a formal letter signed by all but 10 Democrats, asking for both Neville and Republican Senate Majority Leader Chris Holbert to undergo harassment and diversity training before weighing in on proposed changes to the General Assembly’s workplace harassment policy.
Neville said he was not joking about sexual harassment or any other serious situation and didn’t know the details about the allegation against Kavanaugh.
“I shared the post because it had reminded me of a game I played as a child, and I was amused by the references to the game in the article and my own memories associated with playing it,” he said. “That was my motivation in sharing the article.”
The online world ignited and that’s when he said things got ugly.
Neville said he canceled a work meeting he had planned in Colorado Springs Friday so he could stay home to be near his family out of concern for their safety.
“There is no decency. Why are people suddenly threatening my family?”
Progress Now Executive Director Ian Silverii was among those on the left that denounced Neville’s Facebook Post online, telling people to “vote them all out.”
When Silverii was alerted to the threat made against Neville’s family he responded:
“Wishing or promoting violence on legislators or their family members is completely unacceptable and has no place in our civic dialogue.”
The top Democrat in the House, Speaker Crisanta Duran, echoed that sentiment.
“I condemn any violence or harassment against anyone,” Duran said. “These threats and any threats against children, an individual or a family are absolutely unacceptable and have no place in Colorado.”
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